Duke Sliscus is a mad man. He is a Pirate who is about as unpredictable as they come. He left the dark city because he was tired of the petty and lethal politicking. He ply’s the stars raiding and slaughtering with is Pirate band the Sky Serpents and has done so for thousands of years. He is a hero to many Dark Eldar and a thorn in the side of others, especially the 3 Archons he stole his ships from.
I really like the Duke. I am basing my Dark Eldar force on him and his Sky Serpents. The two things that really endeared The Duke to me were two of his special rules. He allows all Venoms, Raiders and Ravagers to Deep strike as he prefers orbital insertion. Second he also rolls two dice for combat drugs and chooses the highest. Add in the fact he can nominate on warrior or Trueborn unit and allow their splinter weapons to wound on a 3+ and his twin venomed blades which wound on a 2+ ignore armor on a wound roll of 5 or 6 you have a very nice character. He is a bargain at 150 points. The Duke is armed with a blast pistol, his venom blades, carries plasma grenades, combat drugs, a shadow field and ghost plate armor.
He also has a nice stat line that will ensure he strikes first and hard. The Duke must start the game joined to a Kabalite warrior squad or Kabalite Trueborn squad. This is really not an issue as he is not an Archon and cannot take a retinue. This means you want him in a unit so he is not by himself and an easy Target.
I have centered my Dark Eldar strategy on the Duke. My current army lists have been using him and 3 haemonculi along with 3 Kabalite Warrior units on Raiders as the core. I have been toying with the other units. The latest version saw action against Vogrin this past Saturday and did not do so well, mostly because of dumb luck. As previously stated this codex is unforgiving and mistakes are disastrous.
I am using the Dukes theme of mobility and vertical insertion, I know sounds bad, to hone the list. I am using Kabalite Trueborns on Venoms as deep striking anti tank units. I am also using Voidraven bombers to wreck utter havoc with exposed infantry and heavy armor. By using the Duke you do not have to upgrade vehicles with retrofire jets, thus saving points, and you essentially get a Dark Eldar drop pod army. You can hit hard and fast. In theory is should work great. This is proving to be a challenge though to make it work. The main thing we discovered is that there is no exceptions for fast vehicles when it comes to occupants shooting out of them when they move at cruising speed. Occupants cannot fire when the vehicle moves at cruising speed. When you deep strike you count as moving at cruising speed . This snagged my plans for the Kabalite Trueborns and the warrior units as I had splinter rack installed on the raiders and the Trueborns had 4 blasters in their small 5 man squads mounted on venom’s. I was forced to rethink the strategy after loosing a lot of troops because I had to dismount them to fire on enemy tanks. I like to blame this on the Dukes tendency to sacrifice all his troops just to get one kill. The guy is kind of crazy after all.
I like the Duke and his crazy ways. The Sky Serpents are defiantly going to be the theme for my army as I paint and collect the new models.
I will post more as I develop the list and use the Duke more. I will have my battle report with Vogrin up later this week. I will also have the last part of the Phoenix Court of Khaine. I will also have a battle report up about my Craftworlders. They fought a Green Tide ork list Saturday night and to my surprise the only survivor was a single flash git. I will post the list.
Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!